Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Heddon Street Kitchen

There is a total abundance of great offers on at restaurants throughout London, with more and more established and well known restaurants getting in on the action. There's nothing wrong with a 2-4-1 deal at Pizza Express, but it's always good to branch away from the large chains at an affordable price.

Thanks to TimeOut, one of the biggest international review and offer websites, I came across an offer for none other than Gordon Ramsay's very own Heddon Street Kitchen on - surprise surprise - Heddon Street. The offer was a 3-course meal with a cocktail from a set menu for £26. Not bad, right? With a choice of three starters, three mains and three desserts, there should be something to please the majority of people. It's worth checking the menu on the website first though, just to make sure! 

As a midweek catch-up after work with one my nearest and dearest, it was great that we could make the most of the outside seating area which was already buzzing at 6pm thanks to the brilliant weather we've been having. Tucked down a side road off of Regent Street, Heddon Street Kitchen is in it's own little alcove which takes you away from the hustle and bustle. 
Having paid for the offer online in advance, the waitress knew to bring our inclusive cocktail almost straight away. It was prosecco based with a hint of grapefruit so perfect and refreshing for the summer evening!

Food-wise, I was more than happy with the limited options available. First up, English Asparagus, Parma Ham, Hollandaise and Parmesan. Simple ingredients, put together in a back-to-basics sort of way. There's no frills about this dish at all but, as long as you like the ingredients, it's an all-rounder! The hollandaise was a smooth and creamy consistency so it was clear it had been freshly made to order. I would say the large amount of parma ham compared to the small drizzle of sauce was the only down point as it made the dish quite salty. I'd have personally preferred the ratio the other way around!

Also to start was the Soft Shell Crab with Sesame Dressing and Coriander. Due to a strong aversion to coriander, we sent the poor waitress back and forth to the kitchen to see if this could be removed from the dish. She was more than happy to help and was able to serve it up coriander free, so bonus points on the service! Although the crab itself was flavoursome, it was definitely lacking in dressing. For saying the sesame was part of the name, it wasn't that obvious in the finished product. 

Mains next. I went for fish (obviously) and had the Wood Oven Roasted Trout with Watercress, Caper and Shallot Salad. The pros of this was that, for a warm day, it was nice and light. I don't have trout a lot, it's not a common occurrence on most menus weirdly. So I was looking forward to it. However, it was SO oily. I appreciate it has to be pan-fried to get the skin so nice and crispy, but it was as if all the excess oil had been poured on the plate as well. When the only accompaniment is some salad, the oil becomes very prominent. For such a simple dish, this could have been done a lot better. 

My dining buddy has always been a fan of meat. Having lived with the girl at one point, I can hands down say she makes the best slow-roasted pork belly EVER. So it was pretty obvious that she was going to go for the Roasted Hanger Steak with Spring Onion Mash and Peppercorn Sauce. Her eyes lit up with glee when it was placed in front of her. However, after chewing away on one piece for what felt like half an hour, she finally was able to tell me her jaw hurt and that was pretty much it! Again, a simple dish that could've been done so much better. The mash, on the other hand, was epic. So every cloud...

Finally, dessert. I went for the Pineapple Carpaccio, Passion Fruit and Coconut Sorbet. Light and refreshing, but after my tiny main meal, I could've probably done with something a bit more substantial. Fresh flavours, especially the coconut sorbet. Pretty much did what it said on the tin!

Also served up was a Vanilla Milkshake with Crushed Oreo Cookies. Not my cup of tea AT ALL but each to their own! Described to me as "Banging", I'm assuming it went down well. Somehow.

So as you can tell, the overall feel to the food here was a bit mixed. I think the menu itself is lovely, particularly the A La Carte Menu, but I was disappointed overall with what we got served up. Maybe it was our choices, maybe it was just an off day for them, but for a Gordon Ramsay establishment, I was definitely expecting more even it was a £26 offer! 

Having said all that, the setting was lovely and the service couldn't be faulted. I would happily go back for dinner there if there was a group of us as it's a chilled environment which is in an atmospheric setting but I won't be rushing to get my next booking in. Sorry Gordon!